Scranton, PA --- Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, PA) totaled a game-high 18 points to lead No. 3 Scranton to a 67-42 victory over WPI in the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship First Round at the John Long Center.
Scranton, one of three undefeated teams heading into the tournament, is now 28-0 on the season and 56-31 in NCAA action. WPI concludes its season with a 24-5 ledger and are now 2-3 all time in the national tournament. The Lady Royals host Marymount (VA) tomorrow at 5pm in the second round.
Senior Yasmeen Luna (North Providence, RI) put the Engineers up early with a triple nearly a minute into the game. Mann quickly evened it up with a triple of her own. The Lady Royals kept the lead the remainder of the half, including a six-point cushion at various times until another Mann 3-pointer with 91 seconds left in the half put the hosts up by nine (29-20) at the break.
Junior Priscilla Dunphy (Barrington, RI) was the first Boynton Hiller to close the gap to one as she canned a jumper with 4:58 left in the first. Sophomore Stasha Greenalch (Newington, CT) later made it a one-point game on a layup with 2:28 on the scoreboard in the opening 10 minutes. With less than four minutes until the break and the Engineers trailing 22-17, Greenalch netted a 3-pointer from near half court with the shot clock about to expire.
WPI outscored the Lady Royals 6-2 at the second quarter media timeout; however, Scranton closed out the half on a 7-0 run after Greenalch's long-distance bucket.
After the intermission, the Lady Royals used a 4-0 run to force a timeout. On the ensuing possession, WPI appeared to exhaust the shot clock but a late foul kept the ball in the Engineers hands leading to a three by Dunphy to get within 10 (33-23). The hosts went on to build a 20-point lead with under a minute left in the stanza. Junior Sarah Rogers (Colchester, CT) cut into the advantage with a 3-pointer only to have Mann hit a jumper for the 49-30 bulge entering the final period.
The Lady Royals continued to maintain a sizable margin en route to the 67-42 final.
Dunphy led the Engineers with nine points and sophomore Ama Biney (Worcester, MA), an All-NEWMAC first teamer, paced all players with 11 rebounds and the team with three assists. Greenalch finished with seven points off the bench as sophomore Madison Beck (Syracuse, NY) added six points and four rebounds. Junior Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) also chipped in with four boards.
Mann was joined in double digits by All-Landmark first teamer junior Alexix Roman (Hawley, PA) with 16 and senior Noelle Alicea (Downingtown, PA) with 13. Landmark Player of the Year junior Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, PA) hauled in eight rebounds and was held to only six points on the night.
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